LER136 – Essay
Modern Family is a popular television show that underlines family values and gender roles. The show centers on a divorced father, Jay, and his two adult children, Mitchel and Claire. Jay is a wealthy, retired business man, who has remarried a younger Latino woman, with son from a previous relationship, and is very close in age to Claire. Mitchel is an opening gay man who recently married his partner, Cameron. Together they are raising their adopted Vietnamese daughter, Lilly. Claire is married to Phil, and together they have three teenage children. This show does an excellent job of displaying traditional and non-traditional roles within each household. All three of these families represent diversity within a traditional setting. It is constantly pushing boundaries by switching mixed messages for gender roles, traditional family values, non-traditional roles, and stereotypes in today’s society. For example, Mitchell is a full-time attorney, while Cameron is a stay-at-home dad. Cameron, who is more feminine, has worked part-time jobs in the past for extra money and self-worth. It can be said he is portrayed as the “wife” in the relationship since he is consistently shown doing the majority of the household duties and child rearing. Parts of the mixed messages that are gleamed from the show come in the form of comic relief. When Cameron goes home to the farm he was raised on, he is portrayed in a more masculine role, to include a more dominant tone in his speech. In these scenes, Mitchell is portrayed as more feminine. Another example of a non-traditional role is Claire’s family. At first glance, they appear to be very traditional; however, there have some non-traditional qualities. While they are a happily married straight couple raising three children together, they both work since Claire began running her father’s company. The show follows Claire dealing with traditional challenges women face in the work...
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